01 Sep Paccar Technical Center
In August we were given the opportunity to visit the Paccar Technical Center located in Mt. Vernon, WA it was not only educational but fun as well. During our tour of the Paccar facility we were able to visually see how much work and testing goes into the manufacturing of Peterbilt trucks, Paccar engines, and drivetrains. The tech center had several engine testing bays where they would monitor the engines performance along with how well it suited different drivetrains and rear end ratios. They also had a room for shake testing where they could simulate a million miles of wear and tear on the Peterbilt cabs. Furthermore, they had an electrical testing facility where engineers would try to overload and short the truck out. Much of the Paccar Technical Center was built for torture testing, for instance if we do this what happens to that.
The next part of the tour involved Peterbilt trucks and a test track. You could drive any truck or dump truck there. They had one 389, a few automatic 579’s and several day cabs. Each truck was at maximum gross weight so you could feel exactly how the truck handled under loaded conditions. Once we climbed in a truck you headed around a high-banked oval similar to a NASCAR track such as Charlotte or Atlanta with out the tri oval. They also have an inner track suitable for logging trucks that simulates what drivers experience in the logging woods of the northwestern United States and Canada. The inner track also contained several turns and hills to allow engineers better understand how the truck handles up a grade or around a bend. If you want to check out a few pictures of tech center visit the link below.